Book Review: The Elemental Coven by Kayla Krantz

The Elemental Coven
The Elemental Coven
The Elemental Coven by Kayla Krantz

I was thrilled to see Kayla Krantz released her newest book, The Elemental Coven! It is the second book in the Witch’s Ambitions Trilogy and I’m happy to say it was well worth the wait.

When I had read the first of the series, The Council, I wanted more! Kayla is an excellent writer. She is wonderfully descriptive and draws you in with her engaging characters and captivating world-building.

You can read my review of The Council here.

The Elemental Coven starts off a bit slow, but quickly picks up the pace. Some of the characters and events that were in the first book I had forgotten about, so there were times that I wished I had reread The Council more recently. I think it would be difficult to get what was happening in this story if you hadn’t read the The Council.

Lilith, the main character, is taken prisoner by the Elemental Coven, a band of rogue witches that were believed to be the bad guys. As Lilith learns more about their mission and motives, she looks to solve the mystery of her past, Willow and the secrets of the Council that had been kept from her.

The story is suspenseful and intriguing. She doesn’t know who she can trust or which side is doing the right thing.

An aspect that I love about this trilogy is the world that the author has built. There are five covens, each with their own unique abilities. They are ruled over by the Council, presumed to work for the best interests of all the covens in the Land of Five. There is, of course, a fair amount of political intrigue and all is not as rosy as it seems on the surface.

Lilith, the main character doesn’t know who she can trust or which side is doing the right thing. It is a guessing game that build suspense and leaves the reader questioning everything and wanting more.

The author does a great job of developing the main character as well as the supporting cast and wondering what, if any, their ulterior motives might be.

The story ends on a major cliffhanger. Unfortunately, we now have to wait until 2020 to find out what happens next!

I received an advanced copy of the Elemental Coven in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Proud author of a number of fantasy and thrillers, fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all time inspiration mixed in with a little bit of Eminem. When she began writing, she started in horror but it somehow drifted into thriller. She loves the 1988 movie Heathers. She was born and raised in Michigan but traveled across the country to where she currently resides in Texas.

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Mythical Monday: How to Attract Faeries

 

inthemossgardencsuzannegyseman
Artwork by Suzanne Gyseman

I’d like to start this post off by saying I’ve discovered this AMAZING faerie artist, Suzanne Gyseman, and I wanted to share her beautiful work with you! I’ve posted some of her faery art here on Inspiration Pie for you to enjoy, but if you’d like to see more, do check out her website!

Why would you want to attract Faeries?

Faeries have always been fascinating to humans. They are magickal, supernatural beings, each with their own gifts, talents and unique personalities.

Some believe they are always around us, especially when we are out in nature, and that you must be friendly to them in order to see them.

But are they guests that you would want in your home?

Not all Faeries are friendly or wish to have human contact at all. Some are helpful and kind, but others can be downright destructive.

Over the ages, there have been oodles of stories of faeries playing practical jokes on humans, stealing food and tools or even burning down a barn. Some people go through great lengths to not offend them, and might even use such elements as iron or bells to repel them from their homes.

The best types of Faerie to have in your home is the Scottish Brownie. They are known to help out with chores around the house.

Be careful not to invite Faeries of the Unseelie Court into your home, as they can be quite mean. You might feel a sickening feeling in their presence.

How to attract the right faeries

To attract helpful and kind Faeries, and win their favour, practice what they honour and avoid what they hate.

What characteristics do Faeries love in humans?

faerie_july2017csg
Artwork by Suzanne Gyseman
  • Kindness and virtue
    • Courteous manners
    • Truthfulness
    • Performing random acts of kindness to a stranger
    • Keep promises made
    • Be generous and fair in all dealings
  • Cleanliness
    • Welcome them with a neat and orderly home. Faeries don’t like clutter.
  • Respect Mother Nature
    • Recycling
    • Not littering or further damaging the Earth
    • Plant a Faery garden
    • Leave a corner of your garden wild and uncultivated
  • Be straightforward in your answers and ask straightforward questions
  • Show appreciation for their gifts.

If you wish to make contact with faeries, you must first work to win their trust.

Beltane and Midsummer are excellent times to make contact.

forestsecretcsgyseman
Artwork by Suzanne Gyseman

Gifts and food they love

  • Ground ginger, barley, sweets, cream
  • They love anything that glitters.
  • Clean water, butter, wine, honey and bread

Never toss gifts out like you are feeding wild animals, however. They consider this to be very disrespectful.

Faeries are also known to love stones as well. Some of their favourites are tiger’s eye, peridot, jade, lava, fluorite, and especially emerald.

Faeries are particularly fond of Hawthorn trees, Foxglove and Groundsel. Take care not to damage these plants, you might be dealing with a peeved Faery!

Faery bush
Motorway built around the “Sceach” , the sacred Faery bush

Faery trees such as Hawthorn and Blackthorn are considered dangerous to chop down. In 1999, a roadway in Clare County, Ireland had to have its plans changed because of protests not to damage the sacred Faery bush, also known as a “sceach”. Read the article here!

Interested in planting a faery garden?

Here are some plant that will attract faeries:

amongtheleavescsgyseman
Artwork by Suzanne Gyseman
  • Common Yarrow
  • New York Aster
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Western Giant Hyssop or Horsemint
  • French Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Fountain Butterfly Bush
  • Orange-eye Butterfly Bush
  • Shrubby Cinquefoil
  • Petunia
  • Verbena
  • Pincushion Flowers
  • Cosmos
  • Zinnia
  • Foxglove
  • Primrose
  • Ragwort
  • Cowslips
  • Pansies
  • Bluebell
  • 3-leaf Clover
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Toadstool
  • Foxglove
  • Groundsel
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Forget Me Not
moonmothfairycsgyseman
Artwork by Suzanne Gyseman

Trees that Faeries love

  • Hazel
  • Rowan
  • Blackthorn
  • Hawthorn
  • Oak
  • Willow
  • Elder
  • Birch
  • Alder
  • Apple
  • Ash

Source:  www.earthwitchery.com

I will have more next Monday on how to attract faeries (and how not to drive them off!)

What about you? Would you welcome Faeries into your home or are you afraid of them?

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

Jo-Ann

 

Friday Post: Seventh Son (The Last Apprentice)

Book Beginnings on Fridays

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My opening sentences for this week is from Seventh Son by Joseph Delaney.  I just happened to pick this book up one day, not even knowing anything about it. I fell in love with the story and then when I found out there was a whole series of thirteen books I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!  My son and I read the whole series together.  He was around eleven at the time and he loved them, too.

Click to see this on Amazon.com

 

When the Spook arrived, the light was already beginning to fail.  It had been a long, hard day, and I was ready for my supper.

“You’re sure he’s a seventh son?” he asked.  He was looking down at me and shaking his head doubtfully.

 

Friday 56

Every Friday, there is also the Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s voice.

 

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky on Freda’s blog. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

From Page 56:

I’d have liked to know more but had the sense not to question him further.  It seemed to me that there was a lot to learn about the Spook and his past, but I had a feeling they were things he’d only tell me when he was good and ready.

So I just followed him south, carrying his heavy bag and thinking about what my mam had written in the letter.  She was never one to boast or make wild statements.  Mam only said what had to be said, so she’d meant every single word.  Usually she just got on with things and did what was necessary.  The Spook had told me there was nothing much could be done about ghasts, but Mam had once silenced the ghasts on Hangman’s Hill.

Being a seventh son of a seventh son was nothing that special in this line of work — you needed that just to be taken on as the Spook’s apprentice.  But I knew there was something else that made me different.

I was my mam’s son, too.

My Thoughts…

Loved these books…all thirteen of them!  They revolve around a world where witches, ghosts, ghasts and boggarts are alive(well not alive, technically!) and well.  People depend on their local Spook to drive off these pesky and sometimes dangerous beings.  Spooks will take on an apprentice, a seventh son from a seventh son being the basic requirement.  That’s where Tom Ward comes in.  The Spook is getting old and the dark is getting more powerful.

There is a hint of romance in these books, too.  It is something that is frowned upon by the Spook, especially when it comes to girls ‘who wear pointy shoes’.  Will Tom’s friend be lured to the dark?

The first two books in the series were actually made into a movie.  It had a great cast with Jeff Bridges, Kit Harrington and Julianne Moore.  Unfortunately, it was a huge departure from the books and didn’t do too well a the box office.  It was quite awful, in fact.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Book 1 and Book 2 of the best-selling fantasy adventure series that inspired the forthcoming major motion picture Seventh Son! Read Book 1, Revenge of the Witch, and Book 2, Curse of the Bane, in one volume! A major motion picture phenomenon and an international bestseller, The Last Apprentice will haunt you—and terrify you—and keep you coming back for more.

This volume includes Book 1, Revenge of the Witch, and Book 2, Curse of the Bane, of the Last Apprentice series. Only the Spook has the knowledge and skill to face ghosts, bind witches, and bargain with boggarts. Now he needs an apprentice—Tom Ward, who is the seventh son of a seventh son. Other apprentices have come before. All have failed, or fled, or died. Will Tom learn what they could not? Can he trust anyone, even his one true love? He will find out—and soon, for the dark is getting powerful, and the Spook’s time has come. Will Tom survive to carry on his master’s battle? Will he be the Last Apprentice?

New Review: Worlds With Ruby by C.P. Cabaniss

Worlds With Ruby by C.P. Cabaniss

When you’re already dead, why should you be afraid?

When Ruby finds herself on the edge of a cliff in a land between life and death, with an ominous creaking coming from the nearby woods, she is left with no choice but to follow it to its source. Nothing is what it seems and Ruby soon finds herself being whisked away to worlds beyond her imagination. Worlds in need of saving. Along the way, she discovers that in saving these worlds, she is saving herself.

First of all, I’d like to thank the author for giving me the opportunity to read this short novel!  It was a quick read, dreamy and escapist and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially as I got into the story.

At first, I have to admit, it seemed a bit odd and I wasn’t sure where it was all going.  As the story progressed, I found myself understanding Ruby more.  She’s a very likeable character, strong, but still with her own internal struggles that she learns to deal with.  The story advances, she deals with being a hero and saving other worlds, to examining her own self and her own weaknesses until she is finally ready to move on.

I liked the concept of translucent beings in the afterlife.  She was fearless because she had nothing to fear.  She was already dead.  I liked the worlds she visited, in fact, I would have liked to see her spend more time in these worlds.  Maybe in Book 2?  We shall see!  If you are looking for a quick read that is escapist, entertaining and thoughtful, this book is for you.

What kinds of books do you like to read?  Is Worlds of Ruby something that appeals to you?  I’d love to hear.  Post in the comments or send me an email 🙂

I received a copy of The Worlds of Ruby in exchange for a fair and honest review.

C.P. Cabaniss

Author Bio:

C P Cabaniss lives in South Carolina where she teaches Mathematics at a community college and writes about the things of her imagination. When not writing she enjoys reading the novels of Brandon Sanderson and Dean Koontz, among others.

C P is inspired most when caring for her horses, exploring old cemeteries, traveling to historic sites, and touring old naval ships.

Website: cpcabaniss.wordpress.com

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New Review: The Council by Kayla Krantz

The Council by Kayla Krantz

The Council follows in a similar vein to the Divergent series. There are separate covens and each coven has a primary ability in which they can do magic.  There is a also a ruling group (the Council) and a rebel group.  The main character, Lillith, is a strong character, just discovering her own unique and unexpected abilities.

LIillith is a witch who is powerful enough to overcome her disability, a childhood injury to her leg that had been caused by magic.  The daughter of Unequipped parents, she is not expected to have any magical abilities  That all changes at the Arcane Ceremony, where she and everyone around her are shocked when five goblets light up, each relating to a different power.

Mysteries about why she has these magical powers when she comes from Unequipped (non-magical) parents, her parents refusal to give her information on her injury, and the strange witch that shows up at the ceremony lead the reader into wanting to know more.

I love the idea of witches living in this dystopian world of separate covens being able to harness separate powers related to their individual element.  I found Kayla Krantz’s writing drew me in and I found it hard to put down.  I was dying to find out what was really going on and what was going to happen next!

I would have like to have seen more development between the characters Clio and Helena. I am excited to read Book 2 when it comes out

I received The Council as an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I’d like to thank Kayla for the opportunity to read this awesome book!

You can receive your own copy of The Council here: The Council at Amazon.com.

Kayla Krantz

Fantasy Fiction: Low Fantasy vs. High Fantasy

Who doesn’t love getting into a good fantasy fiction?

There are oodles and oodles of different types of fantasy genres in literature, and they can  be broken down into their own subcategories.  Fantasy almost always involves some form of supernatural magic.–Wikipedia defines Fantasy as”

Fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality 

Fantasy falls under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction, defined as any narrative fiction with supernatural or futuristic elements.  Fantasy is then broken down into categories by Setting and Theme.

High fantasy, a subgenres of fantasy, is set in a fictional fantasy universe with it’s own set of rules and physical laws, or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot.

Low fantasy stories on the other hand, are usually set in a fictional but rational world.  A lower emphasis is placed on traditional fantasy elements.  There is a tendency for less magic and a less fantastical, more ordinary setting.

According to Bestfantasybooks,

Common thematic elements include struggles for power, moral ambiguity, and cynicism about society and the flawed nature of the human condition. Moral Ambiguity and a flawed humanity are perhaps the biggest contrasts to High Fantasy and are key to creating a grittier, more realistic world. Magic is also a point of divergence: magic envelopes the worlds of High Fantasy, but in Low Fantasy, magic is not the focus or in some more extreme cases, might not even be present in a Low Fantasy world (example, Jennifer Fallon’s Second Son’s trilogy).

A Review

Speaking of low fantasy, I recently had the pleasure of reading Lady Blackwing by Devorah 

Fox.  It was an advanced reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review of this science fiction mini. This was my first time reading any of Devorah’s books and I enjoyed this light fantasy very much.

Lady Blackwing is about a young barista, Mercedes, an interesting and kind character. She’s a hard worker, at school and at the coffee shop though she still enjoys making time for writing. After a strange but minor accident, she finds that she is able to control situations, and make them happen as she saw fit.

I found Devorah’s writing to be fresh and fun. I liked that the story was a quick read, and at the same time, I found myself wanting more!  Well written and entertaining.  Please click on the links to check out more of Devorah’s work.

Devorahfox.com

Goodreads

Twitter

On May 10, Lady Blackwing will be launched on Amazon.